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Tennova approved

The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency has approved Tennova Healthcare’s application for a Certificate of Need to build a 272-bed hospital on Middlebrook Pike in Knoxville. The new facility will replace the existing Physicians Regional Medical Center on East Oak Hill Avenue.

RIP SAT-10, again

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Looks like the SAT-10 exam, defunct since Nov. 3, is going to stay defunct, despite the best efforts of Superintendent James McIntyre’s administration and its allies.

SAT-10 is the most disliked of the many assessments administered by Knox County Schools, primarily because of the tender age of the students to whom it is given – kindergarteners through second-graders.

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Thunder Road revisited

Malcolm Shell
Features columnist

I recently voted in Farragut’s early voting, and one of the controversial issues this year is allowing wine to be sold in Farragut’s grocery stores.

This issue reminded me of a similar referendum in 1961 when Knox County voted to legalize whiskey sales in package stores and, and finally, liquor by the drink in 1972. Referenda to legalize whiskey sales in Knox County date to 1941, and the proposal was placed on the ballot five times during that 20-year period until it was finally approved.

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Gossip and lies

Sandra Clark
Editor

MPC chair Rebecca Longmire found consensus when commissioners debated new regs for doggie daycare and Longmire said many consider their pets their children. “There are people if a tornado were coming through who would shove me outside and keep the dog in the basement,” she said.

Pointing to commissioner Michael Kane, she said, “You’re one of them. I know!” Everybody laughed.

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‘Order in the court!’

Sandra Clark
Editor

When is a majority vote for “guilty” a verdict of “not guilty?” Every time.

Knoxville lawyer Scott Frith explained that concept and more to students at Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy’s newspaper club last week. Sponsored by Shopper-News, the club meets each Wednesday after school. The first session is primarily third graders; the second is mostly fifth graders.

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Second Presbyterian to split

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

The congregation of one of Knoxville’s oldest – and most visible – churches is in the process of breaking up over disagreements with its national governing body over social issues, primarily same-sex marriage.

In a letter to members of Second Presbyterian Church dated Nov. 8, Senior Pastor Bryan A. Wilson announced his intention to resign effective Nov. 30, a decision that he called “difficult and painful.”

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New job for Tony Norman

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

James McMillan has been a high-profile, persistent critic of the way local government handles stormwater runoff issues, both city and county. Rarely has he doled out compliments. Last week, the Shannondale farmer broke form when he heard that Knox County has hired Tony Norman to a $28,000 per year part-time position as an NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) coordinator.

“Tony will add a needed degree of honesty and integrity to Knox County’s engineering department, something they have had a very limited supply of, till now,” said McMillan.

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